Amiable, engaging players in morning music series

Mattina Music (Italian for Morning Music) returns for a spectacular second season to the Comox Valley.

THE MATTINA MUSICA season of classical music will begin Monday with Laura Karney on oboe and English horn.

THE MATTINA MUSICA season of classical music will begin Monday with Laura Karney on oboe and English horn.

Mattina Music (Italian for Morning Music) returns for a spectacular second season to the Comox Valley.

The classical music series, hosted by pianist Sarah Hagen, takes place on Monday mornings at the Sid.  Before each concert, all patrons are warmly invited to meet in the lobby for a cup of tea or coffee, and perhaps even steal a quick word with the artists.

Hagen has invited some of her favourite musical personalities to the stage, each known for being amiable and engaging. The artists will offer insights into their own experiences with the music and likely share some scandalous tidbit about the composer.

The series opens with Laura Karney on oboe and English horn in a program that includes the exquisite sonata for oboe and piano by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Currently residing in Barcelona, Karney’s freelance career has so far spanned 13 countries across three continents.  Ms. Karney has worked with Alarm Will Sound, Cosmopolitan City Orchestra, Peconic Chamber Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, the Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz and the Orquesta de Valencia in Spain.

The second concert features violinist Sharon Stanis, known for her exuberant performances and enthusiastic collaboration. As a co-founder of the Lafayette String Quartet, she tours extensively in North America and Europe and has appeared as soloist with the Victoria Symphony and the Palm Court Orchestra. This program will include the works by Brahms and Prokofiev for violin and piano.

In January, audiences will be treated to the intoxicating voice of bass-baritone Chad Louwerse, who debuted in Europe with l’Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg as Bernadino in Berlioz’ Benvenuto Cellini and in Canada has been heard from Quebec to British Columbia.

He is a winner of both the CBC Westcoast Performance Pacific Spotlight competition and the Début competition and has given recitals broadcast on CBC Radio Two.

The season closes with Ariel Barnes, considered by many to be one of Canada’s finest cellists. Barnes enjoys a diverse career as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, with critics raving about his “luscious tone” and “dazzling technique.”

He is currently principal cello of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and a member of both the Turning Point Ensemble and the National Broadcast Orchestra. This finale concert will feature sonatas by Debussy and Beethoven, which display the breathtaking fusion of cello and piano.

Tea/coffee/conversation is at 10 am and all concerts begin at 10:30 a.m. The performance dates are: Laura Karney on Sept. 19, Sharon Stanis on Nov. 21, Chad Louwerse on Jan. 16, and Ariel Barnes on April 2.

A series subscription is $70, while individual tickets are $20. For more information, visit www.sidwilliamstheatre.com or phone 250-338-2430.

— Sarah Hagen